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Santa & Reindeer
Sketch  Color Comp  Painting

This was by far the most difficult painting of the book.  It also ended up being the most satisfying.  What made it difficult was making it feel accurate--as real as the rest of the book--but where on Earth was I going to find eight reindeer harnessed up--accurately--to a sleigh?!?  

I ended up talking to a local retiree who volunteers at a historical farm near my house.  His "job" at the farm is to harness and drive the horse team for the wagon rides each weekend.  He just so happens to also be the guy driving the horses in all those Wells Fargo commercials where they show the stagecoach galloping off into the sunset.  Louis told me that he's been driving teams for over sixty years!

Louis was a great help, even showing me how you would hold the reins if driving four pairs of animals, how the harnesses would be connected, and other interesting details.  Thanks Louis!
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